I posted what was obviously a joke in response to something someone else posted, but one of the moderators said I was being mean. Let’s look over the posts:
Sections of the OP’s first post: “I'm cheap. Like really cheap. Like gurl you need to use trash bags you're nuts washing out the cans all the time and I'm like pfft poser I'm not buying something just to throw it away.…. Did I mention that I'm cheap?…. I'll attach the flyer but here's the part that made my spinster scroogy heart scream in agony.…Help please, I'm so so soooo cheap. “
In her next post: “I didn't know I could download the free programs THANK YOU FOR THE LINK!!! MY COLD DARK MISER HEART JUST BEAT FOR A MOMENT!!!”
My response: “You may want to try out Elementary O/S. It's a Linux version that is small and fast and runs great on older machines. And it's free, you little miser you.”
If it isn’t perfectly obvious that my post was a joke in response to the OP calling herself cheap and a miser over and over, I’m at a complete loss here.
I'm not a moderator so not sure where they might stand. But I'll risk a dirt practical comment. A PC guy is not me. But I try to communicate effectively and do OK (mostly). IOW, I suspect I'm moderately good at this stuff and make fewer accidental errors(!) than I used to.
Online text communication, especially in a social forum setting where the whole idea is to keep everybody coming back and more or less happy - this is not your casual face to face where you can riff and let your own personal style hang loud. FWIW, I don't see any problem with your post. Except that it doesn't hue the neutral formal overtly courteous line that seems to be the thing that keeps everybody in an online setting calm. Not just here, but pretty much all "civilized" online venues. Your post was casual, direct and personal (and accurate with good info and friendly reference to the other's prior posts). It was a good line. What can I say. But this is a very particular society lacking any face to face perspective and often any long term context on another person's feelings and attitude. In this setting you might want to consider if it makes sense to establish a few filters to keep your delivery in the "nice young boyscout" category unless you have a history of prior good interaction with a particular person.
I got kicked off (or rather, I got on my high horse and refused to compromise) the gardenweb site 15 years ago, about. At the time I was talking about black water plumbing and "spoke" in venacular (not targeting anybody). The problem didn't bother me much, though I felt somewhat righteous. The guy (it was one person using the royal "We" for all interactions) owning the site was w/out doubt (in my mind, anyway!) a little nazi martinet. However: The site was a major success and still is. It had and has extensive and good information on home and domestic matters of all sorts - it's a go-to site. The enforced bland white bread interactions didn't and don't stand in the way of good info exchange. I believe to this day that a large part of their success was the nicey nicey white picket fence law of the land that pleased the "nice ladies" that made of a large portion (maybe 50%?) of the membership. The original owner sold it for a few million a year or so after I was banned and now Hauze picked it up a couple years ago. It's still a good source.
That little explication was in aid of saying the playing field of successful online forums comes with basic limitations. They can and do get stretched, but the formal and overly, even redundantly, polite interaction seems to have a good track record. In my experience and opinion it doesn't get in the way of quality exchange of ideas. It also varies depending on membership and who is in the conversation.
In any conversation, it's easily possible to "move beyond" that bland genre communication, but one has to do it deftly with thought for the other participants.
I can definitely relate to these posts. I have had several of my posts snagged as offensive. It is ironic, the posts which I intend as humorous either get rewarded with apples or are censored. I find it really humorous that one of those posts got a like from the person whom was thought to potentially be offended by the flagger prior to it being flagged. This is not intended to criticize the largely thankless unpaid job being done by our moderators, just simply pointing out a bit more humor mingled with a wee wee bit of frustration.
You know, sometimes things get read a certain way and a moderator flags your post, even when your intentions were to be funny and in a kind spirit. I'd had it happen to myself, but after that initial "How could you possibly read that as offensive?", I realized that my attempt at sarcasm or humor wasn't clear or as understandable as I assumed it was. OK -- I"ll go back and tweak the post and make sure that my point is clear.
Permies.com is fantastic community. It really is, and part of that is the "be nice" ethos that's been cultivated here for many many years by Paul and the many moderators that read through the thousands of posts that go up daily.
My advise (if I can be so bold): step back, don't take it too hard, and continue to contribute to the forums and threads. I think that you'll find that as you get more and more of a positive reputation on the forum, the moderators will give you the benefit of the doubt if and when you post something in the future that isn't intended to be offensive or mean. Lets call it the "50 apple principle" --- "Hey - this guy has posted a lot of helpful stuff over the years and has accumulated a track record of meaningful contributions. He's got 50 apples. I see what he was trying to do there -- he's just being silly and having a good natured joke there."
"The rule of no realm is mine. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, these are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail in my task if anything that passes through this night can still grow fairer or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I too am a steward. Did you not know?" Gandolf